The day which is officially organised by the Council of Europe and has a budget of 30 million euros was launched in 2001 to alert the public to the importance of learning a language, as well as promoting Europe’s rich and diverse linguistic heritage.
But in an era where every day seems to celebrate and promote an idea or cause, we ask the question, is the European Day of Languages even worth the paper it’s written on?
This year being the 10th anniversary we think it could have been the perfect opportunity to promote the importance of learning a language and the benefits it can bring to an individual. Unfortunately the well financed day passed by with a general lack of acknowledgement from the media and with few people knowing about it, the day faded into near obscurity. In the United Kingdom there were a small number of libraries that ran events and a few primary schools that held assemblies, but with a lack of a central organisation within the UK, it seems to have been but a drop in the ocean.
Elsewhere in Europe there was a greater attempt to celebrate the day, in Belgium there were poetry readings on the Metro and in Poland a gala dinner was organised to highlight the advantages of knowing a second language.
Here at Euro London we’d like to see the importance of learning a language championed every day by the European Union and not just one day a year, however well meaning it may be.
We’ll leave you to make your minds up on whether the day was worth the 30 million euros that were spent on it.